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RogerS

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When we had a Level 3 survey done on our property, the surveyor stated that the septic tank discharge might go direct to a watercourse. That's all. Nothing else. No recommendation to check that a permit was in place if this was the case. No comment about the January 2020 deadline re this no longer being permissible.

Yet on other aspects, such as the electrics, he advised getting in a specialist to check things. On this basis, I think that it was perfectly reasonable of us to think that this was not an issue.

Having only just heard about the January 2020 deadline on another thread here, I am looking at having to put in a sewage treatment plant. Had my surveyor pointed this out the potential problem then we would have renegotiated the purchase price. I contacted the surveyor and this is his reply.

A surveyor is under no duty to discover and report on the regulatory status of a discharge arrangement as part of a Level 3 survey.

Which I do find surprising. So is he correct ?

TIA
 

Blackswanwood

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I am not a surveyor but work in the mortgage industry.

Pretty sure the answer is “it depends”

When you contracted with them to do the survey they should have set out their terms of business including the extent of the inspection they would carry out.

It may be worth checking the RICS website for guidance. They set the professional standards that surveyors work to.

Hope this helps.
 

RogerS

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Blackswanwood":2ixwq98a said:
I am not a surveyor but work in the mortgage industry.

Pretty sure the answer is “it depends”

When you contracted with them to do the survey they should have set out their terms of business including the extent of the inspection they would carry out.

It may be worth checking the RICS website for guidance. They set the professional standards that surveyors work to.

Hope this helps.
Their terms of business are silent on this issue! I have contacted RICS for advice.
 

Geoff_S

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The job of a building surveyor is to advise you of all the professional titles of all the trades that will actually be able to advise you.
 

RogerS

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Thanks to a member on another forum I now have chapter and verse relating to this and is posted below for the benefit of anyone else finding themselves in a similar situation.

The RICS practice note for Building Surveys (and that is a full Building survey ((or a level 3 survey - they are one and the same)) , states the surveyor should advise you of the septic tank and specifically highlights the changes in legislation - you can download the full document from; https://www.rics.org/globalassets/rics- ... n-rics.pdf

So, the surveyor is wrong in his response and he IS required to discover and report on the regulatory status of a discharge arrangement as part of a Level 3 survey - reference - Page 63 of the Guidance note for Level 3 surveys which specifically states the need and cites the surveyor to consider;
" location relative to watercourses and buildings and implications for replacement or repair relative to current criteria."


Below is the extract from the RICS Practice Notes - drainage

RICS practice note on drainage;

The surveyor must attempt to identify the means of foul and surface water disposal. There have been recent changes to legislation with which the surveyor should be familiar before undertaking the inspection.
This element includes:
• above ground drainage:
– traps and wastes from kitchen sinks, washing machines, dishwashers, sanitary appliances, bidets, WCs, showers, etc.
– soil and vent pipes, and the possible use of asbestos containing materials (cross refer to section J)
– stub stacks
– air admittance valves, etc.
• below group drainage:
– gullies
– rodding access points
– inspection chambers
– main drainage – separate system (foul and surface water), or combined system
– private drainage – cess pit, septic tank, small sewerage treatment system
– other types – soak away, reed beds, composting toilets
• other issues:
– shared drainage with neighbouring properties (cross refer to section I)
permit to discharge to local water courses, etc.
– misconnected drains (see http://www.connectright.org.uk)
– pitch fibre drainage pipes identified in inspection chambers
– sustainable drainage systems (SUDS).
 

BigMonka

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That's good Roger, I hope you get a good outcome from your surveyor.
Have you had a quote for the new treatment plant works yet?
 

RogerS

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BigMonka":147vxhq7 said:
That's good Roger, I hope you get a good outcome from your surveyor.
Have you had a quote for the new treatment plant works yet?
Ha...he's pushing back and referred me to a lightweight RICS document. I will have to refer back to RICS themselves.

The WPL Diamond that's been getting good reviews here is about £2.2k inc VAT but then you have all the groundworks. I have one quote coming in at around £6,5k inc VAT but I know if I use my own builder it will be much cheaper. He's installed many sewage treatment plants and septic tanks in the past.

Getting back to the Diamond, I think one of its benefits is that the moving parts are outside the tank and thus readily accessible. I've heard of some plants that have rotating discs inside which sounds to me like a recipe for disaster. I need to do a sound level check though to see what -46dB sounds like as where we are is incredibly quiet (unless the odd low flying jet comes over or Chinook). LOML would give a bat a run for its money with her sensitive hearing.
 

Woody2Shoes

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RogerS

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Had a response from RICS and it is most confusing. Did you know, for example, that when you have a Level 3 survey of a house by Surveyor A it won't necessarily cover the same Level 3 survey carried out by Surveyor B.

That's because RICS have, on the one hand, their own Home Survey products. The guidance note I referred to above drives these.

On the other hand, if a surveyor wishes to develop his own residential survey product...whatever the heck that is ....then there is a separate document and is the one referred to me by my surveyor as the one he follows.

So how the hell is a layman expected to know what the differences are or even begin to ask the right questions ? No wonder surveyors have such a bad reputation.
 

beech1948

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If the surveyor provided in detail his terms of service to you then you have something to check against and if its in your likely favour to make a complaint against.

You might also make a formal written complaint and request details of his insurer then write to them. Your initial RICs information could be a start point.
 

RogerS

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beech1948":10ksliza said:
If the surveyor provided in detail his terms of service to you then you have something to check against and if its in your likely favour to make a complaint against.

You might also make a formal written complaint and request details of his insurer then write to them. Your initial RICs information could be a start point.
Never got a Letter of Engagement which I now realise I should have been given. Re the insurer...is he under any obligation to give that information ?
 

Blackswanwood

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No he is not under an obligation to give you details of his PI insurer. My understanding is that you should have been provided with a terms of engagement which set out the extent of the inspection the surveyor would be performing. If this didn’t happen I would argue that you are reasonably entitled to have expected the surveyor to be adhering to the standard requirements of a RICS scheme 3.

I would write to the surveyor and ask them to provide a copy of the correspondence that they provided you with when agreeing to carry out the survey which highlighted that they were not working to the format laid down by RICS. If they resisted I would make a data subject access request under the GDPR regulations.
 

marcros

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Might be worth checking whether you have legal cover on your household insurance policy.
 

RogerS

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Blackswanwood":1twcni1v said:
No he is not under an obligation to give you details of his PI insurer. My understanding is that you should have been provided with a terms of engagement which set out the extent of the inspection the surveyor would be performing. If this didn’t happen I would argue that you are reasonably entitled to have expected the surveyor to be adhering to the standard requirements of a RICS scheme 3.

I would write to the surveyor and ask them to provide a copy of the correspondence that they provided you with when agreeing to carry out the survey which highlighted that they were not working to the format laid down by RICS. If they resisted I would make a data subject access request under the GDPR regulations.
What 'Terms of Engagement' or 'Letter of Engagement' ? All I got was an email from him containing his T's and C's (different to a Letter of Engagement as far as I understand it), how much it would cost and that

"The RICS would refer to such a survey report as a ‘Level 3 Survey’, indicating that it is thorough and can be relied upon. Ours exceed the standards for both inspection and reporting, and contain a disc of photographs – annotated as necessary so you see what I see … clients seem to like them very much. "

(my bold) Clearly it didn't.
 

RogerS

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marcros":2blpb1x8 said:
Might be worth checking whether you have legal cover on your household insurance policy.
Excellent suggestion. Although we are no longer with that company, I have now got the policy details from them and it looks as if it was covered even though the event happened, whilst under cover, in late 2016.
 

RogerS

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RogerS":2q043tlp said:
marcros":2q043tlp said:
Might be worth checking whether you have legal cover on your household insurance policy.
Excellent suggestion. Although we are no longer with that company, I have now got the policy details from them and it looks as if it was covered even though the event happened, whilst under cover, in late 2016.
According to the legal company that wriggle out of things, although the survey was carried out in October 2016 at which time the insurance policy was in force, because we only became aware of the surveyors negligence in April this year then that becomes the 'incident' date ! WTF ?

But because we were insured with a different company in Feb 2017 then Wriggle and Run claim that I'm not covered.

What's the betting that the company I was insured with in Feb 2017 will have a reciprocal reverse wriggle-out of clause ?
 

marcros

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That would be sods law. But hopefully they see the coverage as being a new claim being made now, so your current insurer will pick up the bill.
 

RogerS

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Just to give an update on this.

I ended up asking RICS to look into this. That was back in June. I might just as well have pointed the urinary stream into the direction of the prevailing wind.

RICS.....where the 'P' is silent.
 

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